Standout efforts from Stevenson, Barrington's Tenyer
Stevenson senior Sam Szura, a competitor since her freshman season, called her four seasons of participation in varsity girls bowling "a real trip."
"We started at the bottom and worked our way up, that's for sure," said Szura. "That's why I'm so ecstatic right now. I'm crying."
The tears that Szura and her teammates were shedding Saturday were tears of joy as the Patriots surprised by winning the Palatine Regional at Brunswick Zone in Deer Park.
"We expected to advance," said Szura, "but we never expected to win the regional. I was nervous all day -- I'm kind of a worry-wart -- but in the end we were able to pull through, and I'm thrilled that we did."
Stevenson's pinfall of 5,515 was a whopping 120 pins better than second-place Hoffman Estates (5,358), and both teams will advance to Saturday's sectional tourney hosted by Rolling Meadows. Schaumburg (5,308) and Lake Zurich (5,288) will also move on to the sectional meet to be held at Brunswick in Mount Prospect, while the magical season of Barrington sophomore Sarah Tenyer continued in earnest.
Just a week after winning Mid-Suburban League honors, Tenyer won medalist bragging rights at Deer Park with a 6-game total of 1,302 pins, including games of 246 and 235.
Now the sophomore is looking forward to sectionals.
"That's where I fell short last year," said Tenyer. "This year I want to make it to state. Last season I was nervous (at the sectional tournament) because I was a freshman, but now with a year under my belt I'll be more comfortable, relaxed and confident."
Sarah Schwind of Schaumburg posted the second-highest score of the day, a 1,239, in leading the Saxons to their sectional qualification, while Jordyn Fera (1224), and Azaria Waits (1123) led Hoffman.
Waits, a junior, closed our her series with a dramatic 3 consecutive strikes, much to the delight of the boisterous Hawks fans.
"Our morning session was a little rough," said Waits of Hoffman's first 3 games of the day."We decided at lunch to just forget about it and have fun, because we knew that the afternoon would be a clean slate.
"After the break we were able to do much better."
Conant finished fifth but saw four bowlers advance in Jordyn Wagner, Ashley Pincenti, Angela Anzalone and Victoria Domanski.
Jessica Soskich (1,176) and Joanne Savage (1,149) from Buffalo Grove moved on as individuals, as did junior Becca Rutkowski of Fremd. Rutkowski fired a 229 in game 4 and that helped propel her to the qualification.
"Awesome," said Rutkowski. "I didn't expect to do this, especially after the way I bowled in the morning. I have to give a lot of the credit for making the cut to coach John (Slavich, a Vikings assistant). He helped me to understand the best way to bowl on dry lanes, like they are here at Brunswick."
"I had a lot of fun at lunch -- we were taking team pictures and listening to music -- and I think that helped motivate me and get me excited. At a certain point in the afternoon I was telling myself 'You can do this.' "
Lake Zurich was seventh at intermission but a 2,816 after the break saw them move up to fourth.
"We knew we had the potential to do better," said Bears senior Alexis Waul of the rally. "From the fourth game on we were able to do our best and I'm glad we were able to make it."
Amanda Tarlos led LZ with a 1,204 (top game of 241), while the winning Patriots saw their top performance come from junior Kaitlyn Rudy. She had the only plus 700 3-game series of the day, a 705 in the afternoon, including games of 277 and 234.
It was the first time Rudy had rolled over 700 in her career and it boosted her to third place overall with a 1,235.
"I was a little nervous today," said Rudy, "but all day long our teammates were there for each other. I knew right from the start that everyone had my back."
Jessica Halas of the Saxons finished at 1,107, while Fera from the Hawks fired a final game 254 enroute to her 1,224, good for fourth overall.
Fera agreed with her teammates that their performance after the lunch break was the key to Hoffman's success.
"We were able to recuperate and come out firing," said Fera. "We did have a rough start but we expected things to be close today because there's a lot of talent here."
Loyola regional: The Mid-Suburban League claimed three of the four team qualification slots, with Hersey (5,540) and Prospect (5,332) leading the way in first and second.
New Trier (5,151) placed third, and Wheeling grabbed the last sectional spot after rolling 4,980.
The MSL will be will represented individually as well. Elk Grove senior Jackie Peters had the top performance (1,208); among the individuals joining her in the sectional will be Rolling Meadows' Alison Petrick (1,158), Lisa Rolden (1,027) and Justyna Tatkowska (962).
Leading the way for Hersey were Zoe Sarbekian (1,207), Emma Wrenn (1,184), Delanie Steinweg (1,083) and Marissa Allen (814).
Prospect's top efforts came from Monica Lopez (1,173), Sarah Gervais (1,148), Arie Upshaw (1,088) and Cassidy Selep (1,061). Wheeling's best were Maria Semenets (1,065), Samie Schmidt (1,064), Karsyn Burgess (1,016) and Elizabeth Stavros (941).
Resurrection regional: The hosts took top honors with a pinfall of 5,185 at Habetler Bowl, and Leyden grabbed the fourth and final sectional qualifying spot after rolling 4,719.
The Eagles got the top overall performance as senior Kristy Ashton produced a 1,260.